With NFL Training Camps upon us the deluge of information from every angle is on its way. Rumors will run rampant, along with opinions opined from insiders, outsiders, experts, and dare I say imbeciles with regards to anything and everything professional football.
I recently had the pleasure to be introduced to Gail Sideman of Publiside Personal Publicity. Gail “combines traditional and social media to communicate as truthfully, accurately and quickly as possible.”
“Years of work within the sports industry and media help teach PUBLISIDE’s clients that it takes more than a public relations campaign or tap on a Twitter page to thrive among their industries’ most recognized names.”
She offers up an insightful checklist of reasons for sticking with social media that player can fall back on when dealing with the difficulties, challenges, traps, and pitfalls that it can create when trying to get their message across. These are timely reminders for coaches, media, and fans as well. Let the “tweets” begin, it’s NFL Training Camp time!
When social media is cruel, keep communication lines open
Posted by Gail Sideman – February 10, 2012
You’ve heard the phrase “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all.”
Most of us were taught that lesson before kindergarten, but it escaped some people who hide behind screen names and spew mean-spirited comments on social media pages. Among those frequently targeted are public personalities including professional athletes and media.
While the majorities mind their manners, others who post to social media sites, as sports radio host Dan Patrick says, flex their “digital beer muscles.” You’ve seen (or been) that person. Someone has a couple of cocktails and the ensuing buzz induces liquid courage to say something you regret a day later. People who wish harm to others on social media can’t take it back. It’s online forever. Some, I’m sadly to say, don’t care.
Public trash talk isn’t new
Have we become a more cynical society? I don’t think so (although San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Williams, who after miscues during a game that could propel his team to the Super Bowl, received Twitter death threats after his team lost to the Giants, might disagree). People have long lashed out, with horrifying and sometimes threatening words. They just did it differently. Personal attacks were unleashed via snail mail, phone calls and lest we forget what still fuels many rants: talk radio. Today, all it takes is the click of a computer key and vitriol is spread among thousands, even millions. It wasn’t right in the past, and it certainly isn’t acceptable to those of us who appreciate others’ thoughts and opinions, now.
Social media is still a great communications tool
If social media users behave so badly, you might think that I steer clients away from using the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and the rest. Not a chance! I maintain that social media, when used productively and purposefully, is the best way to communicate with audiences, build and enhance brands, establish and reengage with like-minded professionals and read quick takes from others, than anything we’ve had in the past.
I’m pleased to report that most people online post deferential comments. Do they agree with everything we write and say? No, and we don’t expect them to. As with any forum, we only hope that social media fans and followers respect our work and remember that we are living, breathing people with families, friends and yes, feelings.